35th Bienal de São Paulo
6 Set to 10 Dec 2023
Free Admission
35th Bienal de
São Paulo
6 Set to 10 Dec
Track 4

Emanoel Araujo

Born in 1940, Emanoel Araujo was an artist, sculptor, designer, illustrator, costume designer, engraver, set designer, painter, curator and museologist. Born in Bahia, he belonged to a traditional family of goldsmiths. At the age of 13, he immersed himself in the graphic world as an employee of his town’s Official Press.

His first participations in exhibitions and his professional work in museums date back to the 1960s. His early years in São Paulo resulted in two major projects that changed the landscape of the arts in São Paulo – A Mão Afro-Brasileira (The Afro-Brazilian Hand), an exhibition held in 1988 at MAM, and his ten years at the head of the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, from 1992 to 2002. In 2004, he founded the Museu Afro Brasil in São Paulo, of which he was curatorial director until his death on September 7, 2022.

Horrana de Kássia Santoz tells us about Araujo’s work at the 35th Bienal: “In the work exhibited here, a monumental relief, you can see how [the artist] builds rhythm and movement, creating pieces with visual dynamism and a striking sense of fluidity. […] These formal characteristics help define the aesthetics and identity of Araujo’s work, positioning him as a member of the second Brazilian constructivist generation. In this work we can observe the use of wood, as well as the stylistic approach marked by geometry.”

It is a work made up of six square panels, fixed to the wall side by side, which altogether form a piece thirteen meters wide and more than two meters high. It is an abstract work, made up of geometric shapes combined. The panels are all white and volumetric, made up of triangular bars about fifteen centimeters wide positioned diagonally at different angles and directions. These bars cross, overlap and juxtapose to form geometric reliefs. In this work, the artist moves closer to constructive approaches, reducing the figures to primary structures.